I intended to post at least twice last week while I was on vacation in Branson, MO. Really. Here’s a little proof from my blog about what I was hoping for from the vacation.
And then vacation mindset settled in. And grand intentions went the way of New Year’s resolutions.
It happens when you’re having a fine time relaxing and seeing the sights and eating too much rich food.
So how about if I synopsize it for you now? Will that make up for failing to post in the heat of vacation’s finer moments?
I’d rather seek forgiveness than ask permission.
The First Weekend
Fights were unremarkable with the exception that we arrived 30 minutes early in Oklahoma City. It stressed my cousin’s wife out not to be there to meet us. But the timing worked out so that we claimed our bags, stepped into the pickup area and they pulled up a minute later.
Smoother than Dole whip. Although not as tasty.
They took us to a pizza joint where their son worked. We were waited on by the owner’s daughter (said son’s best friend) and then off to their house for football.
There was entirely too much college football viewed during these first couple days. But I was in Sooner territory and the championship games were being played.
My aunt (the reason for the side trip into OKC rather than flying directly to MO) and uncle took us to Cattleman’s Cafe at the Stockyards on Saturday. Best steak I’ve had in a LONG time and not as pricey as the last memorable one from Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse.
We did some emergency laundry (no, I don’t want to talk about it) and packed for a semi-early start for the extensive road trip through the flatlands and into the “mountains.” (Yes, there’s a story here, but I’m not telling it at this juncture.)
A Typical Monday
My cousin’s wife had to work. She wasn’t the only one. My cousin spent plenty of time on the phone with a troubled client and hubs got a call about a computer network issue.
Even I ended up working. I wrote a blog post and played around with the stylus and my photo editing app. If you missed it, you can check it out now.
So we stayed at the condo. Mostly.
We agreed to a “15-minute survey” from the Wyndham rep for a $25 American Express card. And that went fine (although longer than 15 minutes but it took place in our condo, so no biggie).
But…timeshare salesmen have no boundaries.
We borrowed my cousin’s Jeep to get some “important and essential” information from the sales center. Not. As soon as they realized we had meant it when we said we didn’t want to buy more points (“But the pricing was incredible. I figured you must have misunderstood the offer.” Yes, we’re idiots. Thanks for saying so, but no, it doesn’t make us want to spend $15,000 dollars).
Since we were out and about, we went to the Dixie Stampede grounds and picked up our tickets for the dinner show on Friday The smell of horseflesh assaulted me when I stepped from the car. Lovely.
It was finally a good day.
Shopping, Sightseeing and Shows
Tuesday, we went shopping at the Landing and the Tanger Outlets.
Wednesday was our afternoon show at the Sight and Sound Theater.
If you’ve never been to one, you should add it to your bucket list. The barnyard scent in the fancy auditorium was the first clue that this would be a show like no other.
A musical with live animals and incredible lighting effects followed.
Afterward, we took the cousins out for dinner since it was their third wedding anniversary.
I recommend Dobyns at the College of the Ozarks (aka Hard Work U).
Friday night was the big dinner show at Dixie Stampede. It was an incredible assortment of trick riding and showmanship. And if you only wanted food, the WHOLE chicken was sure to satisfy.
The trip from OKC to Branson was a dual-sided road trip.
But that wasn’t enough for my cousins. Nope. They had been married in a “town that survives solely on tourism.” And they wanted to show it to us.
We were game. After all, it was only about fifty miles from Branson. Just a hop, skip and a jump of about an hour in the car.
Because we were in the “hills” and the roads were winding through small towns, beside lakes, past chicken farms and at less than 55 miles per hour most of the time.
Eureka Springs, Arkansas, has more to claim its fame than artists and odd-shaped buildings and old store fronts.
For one thing, it boasts the Christ of the Ozarks. This 64-foot statue was our first stop on the chilly winter Thursday we road tripped across the state line.
The town itself was “quaint” if not oddly situated on the side of a hill with narrow streets.
The B&B where they got married was charming. They drove up the steep and narrow drive (explaining how their wedding guests had to park thither and yon) and hopped out to chat with the landlady.
Who was on vacation.
But we saw plenty of locally made art pieces. One of the most unique and memorable pieces was at Zarks Gallery. I must say I wasn’t in the market for art of this caliber. Mostly because I couldn’t afford the $5,000 price tag.
Eventually, we were headed back to Branson for the condo-grilled dinner. And I ascribed to one of my favorite ways to spend a road trip.
Share your vacation memories. I’d love to hear about the strangest discoveries you made.